About 35 concerned parents gathered yesterday in front of Fort Lincoln Elementary School in Northeast where a student was recently struck by a car to protest what they said was a lack of adequate traffic signs.
Many of the streets surrounding the school, which is on a hilltop at Birney Avenue and Fort Lincoln Drive NE, do not have signs typically found near other elementary schools in the city informing drivers of the 15 mph speed limit.
On May 21, Ronald Simpkins, 7, was struck by a car in the 3100 block of Fort Lincoln Drive NE, a narrow street that borders the school property.
He was taken to Children's Hospital where he was reported in good condition yesterday.
D.C. police did not charge the driver involved in the incident. They said that the child had darted in front of the car and that the driver was not at fault.
"This is a very dangerous area. People come speeding through here all of the time," said Belinda McElrath, mother of two Fort Lincoln students.
"There is very heavy traffic flow and a lot of drivers don't even know that there is a school nearby because there are no signs."
Marva Phillips, whose three children attend the school, said, "We've tried to get the city to put up extra stop signs, and yellow crosswalk markings, but transportation officials told us that there was no need for them."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works said yesterday that officials had received a letter and a petition in 1983 from several Fort Lincoln residents requesting additional stop signs and a traffic signal in various portions of the complex but said there was not enough traffic to warrant an increase in such safety measures.
However, she said, the officials promised at that time to "continue to monitor the situation . . . .
"The school is obviously a very important area and we're looking into" the renewed concerns of parents in the area, she said yesterday.
School safety officials said that they had made several "informal" verbal requests to the Public Works Department, asking that standard safety measures be installed within 150 feet of the school building. Dominic Angino, safety manager for the schools, said, "Maybe we should have sent a formal request . . . . Basically, it's a serious situation. We did have that one injury and it gives us concern."
From her son's hospital room, Jeannette Simpkins, a housewife, said in a telephone interview, "There should have been signs around the school a long time ago. He goes to school that way everyday. It seems that nobody looks into anything until something happens. It always takes a tragedy."